Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Helping Abroad a legitimate organization?
- Who Volunteers?
- Why Volunteer Abroad?
- Why Volunteer with Helping Abroad?
- Very Affordable
- High Quality
- Safety our #1 Priority
- Community Approach
- Pre-departure and In-country Support
- Complete Volunteer Experience
- American Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization
- Why Pay to Volunteer?
- Why is Program Fee of Helping Abroad so Affordable?
- Which countries do volunteers come from?
- Will I meet other volunteers?
- Do I need insurance?
- When should I apply?
- What kind of visa do I require?
- Do I need vaccination shots?
- Can I fundraise?
- Can I break my volunteer program to do other things?
Helping Abroad is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization based in Dallas, Texas, USA. We work with many organizations around the world, and many volunteers enjoy our programs each year. If you wish to talk to us about anything you can either call or email us.
Our volunteers are generally aged 18 or above. We also have much younger volunteers who come accompanied by their parents. You can be a student, a working professional on a holiday or a retired person. We welcome anyone to our volunteer program. Moreover, as our program fees are very affordable, we get volunteers from all walks of life.
People volunteer abroad for many reasons. Some want to travel abroad and live like a local. Others want to help disadvantaged communities, while others are inspired to save endangered species from extinction. For some, they want to learn local language (like Spanish) and immerse in local culture. Most volunteers grow as a result of these activities. While volunteering, many become resourceful, develop patience, open their hearts and minds to many things around them and really learn to appreciate people and culture that are very different from theirs.
Our team of over 100 staff worldwide works all year to ensure that our programs fulfill all the criteria set by our volunteers and that our programs also benefit the local community directly. We hire only local staff and our projects are owned 100% locally. Because of this, our projects are very affordable, unique and safe. Our volunteers are also warmly received in the local communities where they will work and their work highly appreciated. Our projects, which are locally owned, also ensure our volunteers will receive comprehensive support from our in-country staff, project staff, host family and the local community. Learn more about our unique volunteer programs:
There are expenses associated with organizing volunteer programs. We have to for instance research the program to ensure if they have scope for our volunteers to contribute meaningfully, if they sustainable, and located in safe place. We also hire local staff to assist the volunteers once they arrive in the host country. There are also costs involved in hosting the website, advertising in Google so you can find our programs and hiring staff to organize the trip from our head office. Without these, we will not be able to offer you a volunteer program. But you should also know that all our program fees go directly to the projects. We only use the registration fee to run the administration required to offer you meaningful, safe and quality volunteer program.
Helping Abroad does not just ensure that the program fees are affordable. We also make sure our programs are also located in safe places, run by experienced and highly professional staff and supported by local communities. On top of that we are also proud to offer you very affordable program fees. To make all this possible, Helping Abroad work directly with grassroots organization and not with middle agents. We only hire local people, and ensure all your program fee reaches the community where our volunteers will work so the communities can benefit both directly and indirectly from the volunteer projects. Only the registration fee our volunteers pay to enroll in our program is used to cover our administration costs like hosting the website, web marketing and pre-departure support we provide to volunteers. Our aim is offer our volunteers an very affordable option to enroll in another program and not where they have to pay thousands of dollars just to volunteer.
Our volunteers come from all over the world, but being based in the US and being a 501 (3) C organization, most of our volunteers are from the US. However, we take pride in being an international NGO. We receive many volunteers from Canada, UK, Australia, Japan, Taiwan and European countries.
Depends but mostly yes. Work in orphanage is our most popular project. We will always have volunteers going to the project. But we also work with many orphanages around the world. So while there will be a good chance that another volunteer might be working in the project we cannot always guarantee that. We've kept our start dates on 1st and 3rd Mondays of month to make sure we get a group of volunteers starting together. This setup ensures our volunteers can have fun together, make local and international friends and complete their projects with extraordinary success.
Our program fee includes insurance. Helping Abroad offers one of the most comprehensive insurance packages to its volunteers. Our insurance coverage provides excellent protection in the event of health-related problems, accidents, and other incidents. Please contact us to learn more about our insurance package.
Our volunteer programs are available throughout the year and start on 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month. You can apply with as little as a week remaining but we normally advice our volunteers to apply well in advance. If you do this it gives you time to organize other details like getting a visa, booking your air ticket and taking vaccination shots. If you apply with only a very short time remaining for the project to start, you can for instance not get time to look for cheaper air ticket, or miss out on vaccination shots. In some countries like China and India, you will need at least 3 -4 working days to get a visa, unless you visit the embassy or the consulate in person.
In most countries you will need a visa to enter the country and volunteer. In countries like India, China and Ghana, volunteers must get a visa with your local embassy or consulate prior to traveling. In countries like Nepal, Cambodia and Kenya, you can get a visa upon arrival at the airport, but we generally advice our volunteers to get one before leaving. In countries like Panama and Costa Rica, volunteers do not need a visa to enter the country but you will need a valid passport that does not expire in 120 days after your arrival, a return ticket and you must show an ability to spend at least US $100 a month while in the country.
Yes. In some countries you must provide proof of vaccinations, while in other countries, the shots are recommended for your own personal health reason. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website is an excellent place to look for what shots you need. Please visit this link and type in the country you want to visit, link: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/
Fundraising is an excellent way to reduce your own travel expenses, while helping out with some of your volunteer project area monetarily. Volunteers successfully raise all the funds required to financial their program or only part of it. Some even succeed in raising funds to donate to the project they volunteer in. There are many different ways a volunteer can raise funds for the trip. Helping Abroad will give you many ideas and guide you through the process.
Our programs are flexible. If you feel the need to take a break, please contact our country coordinator. You can sit down and plan with the coordinator accordingly. We always work with our volunteers to make sure their trip is a life changing and extraordinary experience.